Christmas Eve Dinner

Monday, December 24, 2001
Christmas Eve in Suburbia 

Christmas Eve Greetings,

tradition (tra`di•cn) n.. The body of customs, thought, practices, etc., belonging to a particular family, and handed down from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth, over a relatively long period.

We spent most of the day preparing for tonight's non-traditional dinner. I did the Martha Stewart detail work, while DH did the Ming Tsai (chef) thing, cooking with love and appreciation for good food and family. By 5 pm, everything was in place, including the adorable kiss-kiss bears dinner party "favors,"and dinner was ready to roll:

I stepped into the shower. 

Our guests arrived a half hour early. As I stepped out of the shower,  I could hear their bright laughter punctuating their lively conversation.  I smiled. This was family.  No problem.  They'd make themselves at home. 

If you haven't already met my family, 
click here

Dressed, I was showered again, this time with hugs and kisses from Sue, Alana, Jonathan and Samara. Earlier, Alana had driven alone from Fresno in central California after spending the weekend with Jeremy, her boyfriend, and his family.  So, my hug back to her was filled with gratitude and relief for her safe arrival.




With the glow of candlelight on our faces, we sat down to enjoy DH's culinary talents: 

Christmas Eve Dinner Menu

Cheese with Crackers
Purple Potato Chips

Tuscany Bread Salad
with balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil dressing
by Samara & Jonathan

Grilled Ribeye Steaks 
with Uncle T's Outrageously 'Ono Garlic Wasabi Sauce,
a welcome assault to the senses

Lobster Medallions, 
cooked in champagne

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Traditional Black Olives

Boston Cream Pie
a light, layered cake with a smooth, creamy custard center
and slathered with a blissfully rich, dark chocolate
So why is it called a pie?


Amid the warm family spirit, DH pulled the corks off a Black Mountain Merlot & Sanford Chardonnay that complemented his dinner courses. Hardly a dutiful encore to Thanksgiving dinner, DH's non-traditional Christmas dinner delighted our eyes and palates. 



Samara and Jonathan are following in their Uncle T's (DH's) culinary footsteps well, as they concocted a mouth-watering, sophisticated Tuscany bread salad.  With pride and joy, we are watching their marriage grow into a beautiful and solid partnership.  Adoring each other and self-aware as individuals and as a couple, they bring out the best in each other.  


Alana shared bits and pieces of info about her beau, and yes, we were all ears, hungry for anything about this young man who has captured Alana's heart.  She survived our light-hearted, egregiously nosey "interrogation."  We want someone who absolutely adores her as we do, but she needn't worry about our concern; if she loves him, we will love him, unconditionally.

We recalled intimate, family Christmas Eve dinners of Christmases past.  Danville. Mama Tosca's in Bakerfield. Breckenridge, Colorado.  Yorba Linda.  Tradition is a good thing.

As we were clearing the table, Alana was sopping up the last of the wasabi sauce on her plate with some bread before she surrendered it to the dishwasher.  She already makes her Uncle T's fabulous spaghetti sauce, so why not his garlic-wasabi sauce? A copy of the recipe was photocopied for her. Maybe she'll knock Jeremy's socks off with her culinary skill?

Click here for the recipe for Grilled Steaks with Uncle T's Outrageously 'Ono Garlic-Wasabi Sauce

After dinner, they lavished us with wonderful gifts, and then we settled into the most traditional part of our Christmas celebration.   Every year, we do a puzzle.  Yes, a puzzle.  

A jigsaw puzzle.  

It's a very cozy tradition.  Very symbolic, I think.  We tightly gather around a table, each working feverishly on solving the puzzle together.  We help and cheer on each other, amid spirited teasing, bantering and chatting.  We moan and groan when someone dares to look at the picture on the front of the box for help, as it is AGAINST THE LAW.

Whose law, you ask?  Wayne's law!

Wayne -- our goddaughter's father, Sue's husband, and our buddy -- started the tradition.  An engineer with a well-honed sense of space and forms, he was the greatest puzzler of us all, and whenever we're stuck, we invoke Wayne's help.  

Boy, did we need his help last night.  Even rotating positions didn't help. The teddy bear puzzle was a bit more than challenging than our abilities, and as the clock ticked into Christmas Day, we decided to call it quits and promised to finish it on New Year's Day. 

We will finish it.  Tradition dictates it.  

Talking about tradition, maybe Sue has the last puzzle piece in her pocket?

Next year?  A Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

"Life is a Gift."

Author Unknown

P.S.  If you would like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to this journal entry, you may do it here.  

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


past    the present    future

who | what | archives | comments | photos


This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
September Morn © 2001